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13 Days of Halloween: Uzumaki

Shannon, here – Halloween is my favourite holiday and to honour it I’m counting down 13 manga throughout the month that I think best capture the Halloween spirit. They aren’t all horror manga, as to me Halloween is about more than scares: it’s about a sense of fun and wonder. It’s about discovering that there may be more to this world than meets the eye. So with that in mind, there’s everything on this list from action-packed shounen to romantic-comedy to children’s manga to some lock-the-doors-and-leave-the-lights-on horror. (See all 13 Days of Halloween so far…)

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1. Uzumaki

There’s a game I like to play with Uzumaki. The rules are simple: open up any volume to any page and see if it shows you something horribly grotesque, unnatural, gory or just plain creepy. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, it will. And you never know what it will be: vampires who use drills instead of teeth, human beings maiming and contorting their bodies into unnatural shapes, giant snail people. And that’s just some of the weird stuff that goes on in this series.

Uzumaki is the tale of a small town called Kurôzu-cho, a seaside town that becomes plagued by spirals. It starts off slowly, with one resident of the town becoming obsessed with the shape. He starts collecting every example he can find and eating only food that have spirals in them (i.e. spiral patterned fish cakes). But what starts out as a weird quirk soon turns into something more deadly when spirals start turning up all over town. The smoke from the crematorium swirls sinisterly over the town, whirlwinds spring up out of nowhere, eddies appear randomly in streams. And then things get really weird. One resident, in her fear of spirals, snips the skin off of her fingertips. A girl’s tiny cresent-shaped scar twists and becomes a huge gaping vortex that sucks in everyone around her. People start turning into giant snails.

Kirie and Shuichi, two teenagers living in the town, seem to be the only ones who notice how Kurôzu-cho it slowly going crazy. But eventually (around the time people start turning into giant snail creatures) the other citizens start to take notice as well. But by then it’s too late, as the town is already in the grip of the spiral.

Uzumaki is the most inventive horror story I’ve ever seen in any medium. The wealth of ideas present and their fantastic execution makes this not only one of my favourite horror manga, but one of my favourite manga ever. If you only read one horror series this Halloween, it should be Uzumaki.

Shannon Fay

About the Author:

Shannon Fay has been an anime and manga fan ever since junior high when a friend showed her a raw VHS tape of ‘Sailor Moon Stars.’ After watching it, she knew she didn’t want to live in a world that didn’t include magical transvestites and alien boy bands. Along with her reviews on Kuriousity, Shannon Fay has also written manga reviews for Manga Life and Anime Fringe. She is also a freelance manga adapter and is currently working with the manga licensor Seven Seas.

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2 Responses

  1. violet (yuki) says:

    I have read that. Awesome but freaky I was scared if spirals for the longest time.

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